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Hessian Hills Child's Chair by Wharton Esherick, 1931

Documentation Ample Provenance
Origin United States, Pennsylvania
Period 1920-1949
Materials Red Oak & leather
W. 15.5 in; H. 26.5 in; D. 15 in;
W. 39.37 cm; H. 67.31 cm; D. 38.1 cm;
Condition Good. Original leather back - seat replaced to match
Creation Date 1931
Description In 1924, Esherick created a prototype for a child's chair, now in the permanent Collection of the Wharton Esherick Museum, of which he would make six the following year. These chairs were made in lieu of tuition payment for his then nine-year-old daughter Mary, to accompany her to the newly minted progressive school for children in Croton, New York, known as the Hessian Hills School. In the fall of 1930 the School suffered a fire which took with it the chairs Esherick had delivered in 1925. Funded by insurance money, Esherick made fifteen replacement chairs in 1931.

Around the time Esherick completed his chairs, William Lescaze and George Howe were selected to design a new school building. The outfitting of the classrooms with tubular chrome furniture may have led Esherick’s chairs to find new homes or uses. Three of the Hessian Hills School chairs are known to be extant, this one and two others that Moderne Gallery sold to the permanent Collection of the Modernism Museum Mount Dora. Another example of the chair, made at the same time for Helene Koerting Fischer, is now in the Collection of Mansfield (Bob) Bascom.
Styles / Movements Collectible Design, Modern, Studio Craft
Incollect Reference Number 364809
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